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Steak au Poivre

3 tablespoons black peppercorns 4- 6 ounce tenderloin steaks salt 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 tablespoon butter 1/3 cup cognac 1 cup beef stock 1/2 cup heavy cream

Wrap peppercorns in clean dishtowel, then crush, either by pressing firmly with the bottom of a heavy skillet or by tapping with a mallet. Transfer pepper to plate, then roll steaks in it so that they are evenly coated. Season liberally both sides with salt. Heat butter and oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add steaks and cook until well browned, about 4 minutes on each side for medium rare. Transfer steaks to warm plate. Cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Add cognac to hot pan. then carefully ignite with a long handled match. ( Keep lid handy so flame can be extinguished. Allow alcohol to burn off, about 1 minute, then add stock. Cook until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Add cream and cook, stirring occasionally until thick , 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and pour over plated steaks